Purdue Extension is calling this a new environment for crop farmers in the Corn Belt, and the bearish USDA reports Monday sent markets sharply in the direction the agriculture economists have been warning about. The new environment they talk about is a much different economic outlook in the coming years than what farmers have enjoyed in recent years.
The Top Farmer Conference in July is designed to help farmers understand the dynamic and position themselves for it, according to Michael Langemeier, Associate Director at Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture.
“We’re going to do quite a bit of outlook with respect to crop prices, livestock prices, land prices, also feed costs. That’s something we’re adding this year, but all of that outlook is going to be geared around this theme of operating in this new environment where margins are going to be tighter.”
Langemeier added “farmers have bought a lot of machinery the last few years. With $4.50 or below corn how is that going to change?”
The conference will feature a session that delves into precision agriculture and the problems and opportunities that come with the data.
“The focus there is trying to make better use of this precision agriculture technology. It’s been around with us for quite awhile, but a lot of people aren’t making very effective use of the data that’s coming from yield monitors and other things like that. So that’s a major focus of this year’s conference.”
One difference in this year’s conference is that it will be a day shorter.
“For many years it was a three day conference and we thought it might be better to give 2 days so it’s a little less time out of the office and a little less time away from the farm.”
Conference presenters from Purdue include Chris Hurt, Allan Gray, Mike Boehlje, Jim Mintert, Roman Keeney, Michael Gunderson, Craig Dobbins, Freddie Barnard, Ben Gramig, David Widmar, Langemeier, and Director of Extension Jason Henderson.
Gary Schnitkey from the University of Illinois will participate in a presentation on what the new Farm Bill means for your farm.
The Purdue Top Farmer Conference is July 15 and 16, 2014. The $50 early bird registration discount has been extended to July 8th and all the details for the conference are online.